It's become axiomatic to think of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE as a vaguely corny, time-honored holiday classic. And I have to admit, until last year I hadn't sat and watched it all the way through. It's so ironic that a film we think of as the height of cloying sentimentality is anything but. In fact, there's a lot of darkness in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. It's the first Jimmy Stewart movie that shows his dark side, a side that Anthony Mann and Alfred Hitchcock would later use to such great advantage. And the theme of one man's redemption, which we've seen so many times in Hollywood films, is perfectly enacted by Capra and Stewart.
Director Frank Capra and star Jimmy Stewart both participated in World War II. Stewart served with great distinction in the Army Air Corps and Capra made the brilliant and effective "Why We Fight" series of propaganda films for the Army. When they came back to Hollywood, Stewart decided he was finished as an actor. He had seen too much, he was at a point of real crisis and he felt that acting was a trivial profession. But Capra convinced him that he had a special gift and that through his acting he could make the world a better place and relieve the troubles of people everywhere. Stewart agreed and the film was made.
To say it still holds up is an understatement. Even on television it has an impact. On the big screen, in an immersive theater environment, it's even more powerful. We hope you'll check it out with us this week at Village or next week at Lake Creek in an all new super bright and clean 2k Digital Restoration.